Examining signs of driver sleepiness, usage of sleepiness countermeasures and the associations with sleepy driving behaviours and individual factors

Watling, Christopher N., Armstrong, Kerry A., & Radun, Igor (2015) Examining signs of driver sleepiness, usage of sleepiness countermeasures and the associations with sleepy driving behaviours and individual factors. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 85, pp. 22-29.

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Abstract

The impairing effect from sleepiness is a major contributor to road crashes. The ability of a sleepy driver to perceive their level of sleepiness is an important consideration for road safety as well as the type of sleepiness countermeasure used by drivers as some sleepiness countermeasures are more effective than others. The aims of the current study were to determine the extent that the signs of driver sleepiness were associated with sleepy driving behaviours, as well as determining which individual factors (demographic, work, driving, and sleep-related factors) were associated with using a roadside or in-vehicle sleepiness countermeasure. A sample of 1518 Australian drivers from the Australian State of New South Wales and the neighbouring Australian Capital Territory took part in the study. The participants’ experiences with the signs of sleepiness were reasonably extensive. A number of the early signs of sleepiness (e.g., yawning, frequent eye blinks) were related with continuing to drive while sleepy, with the more advanced signs of sleepiness (e.g., difficulty keeping eyes open, dreamlike state of consciousness) associated with having a sleep-related close call. The individual factors associated with using a roadside sleepiness countermeasure included age (being older), education (tertiary level), difficulties getting to sleep, not continuing to drive while sleepy, and having experienced many signs of sleepiness. The results suggest that these participants have a reasonable awareness and experience with the signs of driver sleepiness. Factors related to previous experiences with sleepiness were associated with implementing a roadside countermeasure. Nonetheless, the high proportions of drivers performing sleepy driving behaviours, suggest that concerted efforts are needed with road safety campaigns regarding the dangers of driving while sleepy.

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ID Code: 87024
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Driver sleepiness, Signs of sleepiness, Sleepiness countermeasures, Individual factors, Australian drivers
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2015.08.022
ISSN: 0001-4575
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2015 23:47
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2015 17:25

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